On October 11th, 1973 Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker were fishing from a pier on the web bank of the Pascagoula River in Mississippi when they heard a whirring/whizzing sound. The sound was being produced by an oval shaped object approximately 30-40 feet across and 8-10 feet tall with two flashing blue lights. Hickson and Parker claim they were rendered paralyzed while three creatures examined them aboard the object. Once the examination was complete the two were released.
The event was first reported to the local Keeslar Air Force Base where they were instructed to report it to the Jackson County Sheriff’s office where it quickly became publicized by the media. The town was quickly overwhelmed with reporters and UFOlogists all attempting to determine if the story was fact or a hoax.
James Harder of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization along with J. Allen Hynek interviewed Hickson and Parker and even attempted to hypnotize the two men. The two interviewers determined that both Hickson and Parker were telling the truth and were truly frightened by the experience.
In later interviews the two described the beings as having two legs, although they did not use them. They appeared to float above the ground as they approached the two men. This does lead to a discrepancy in the story told by the two men. Initially the two stated that they were picked up by the beings and carried to the craft while a later interview stated that they were simply touched by the beings and they floated alongside them to the craft.
Others believe that Hickson and Parker are making up the story and used it as a means to gain publicity for themselves. Hickson did take a polygraph and passed, however Philip J. Klass, a UFO Skeptic, states that the polygraph was administered by an inexperienced operator and that the results were invalid. Hickson refused to take another polygraph test that would be administered by a more experienced operator.
Below is a short interview that was conducted by Dr. James Harder with Charles Hickson after the event. Hickson passed away at the age of 80 on September 9th, 2011 so further interviewing is not possible.
There are a lot of valid points that skeptics bring up regarding this case. The largest being that the story seemed to change over time. Some accounts saying they were carried, other accounts saying they floated to the craft. Additionally, Hickson refused a second polygraph with an experienced operator which is suspect. There is also not much information available from Parker who also experienced this ordeal.
One reason I do think this could be a true encounter is simply because of how frightened both men were after the encounter as well as during hypnosis. While the attempted hypnosis was being attempted the two men both became so frightened that they were brought out of the hypnosis state.
Lastly, Pascagoula river and surrounding areas have seen a large number of UFO reports throughout the years and today. Many of these sightings can be explained, however a few cannot. It is very possible that these two men were abducted and experimented on, however there does not seem to be much physical evidence and with their story changing over the years I tend to believe this was a hoax cooked up by the two men.